Friday, August 12, 2011

Brain Food

Fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon and lake trout, are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids which helps brain function. Omega-3 has also been linked to cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week and offers good advice on the risk vs. benefits of eating fish. Some fish, especially older and larger predatory fish, contain high levels of mercury and/or PCBs. These contaminants can adversely effect fetal and infant development, so women and young children are advised against eating these fish, especially from certain water sources. Fortunately, many of the lakes in our region, including Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, do not have chemical contamination warnings and can be consumed weekly as part of a nutritious meal. Below is a chart from the NYS Department of Health about eating sport fish which specifically shows waters that have contamination concerns in the Finger Lakes Region. Eating a variety of species per month is also recommended.

Finger Lakes Region

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Women under 50 years and children under 15 years

Don't eat any fish from the waters listed below.

All others

Should follow the advice listed below.

Water [*] (County)SpeciesAdviceChemical(s) of Concern
Canadice Lake [10] (Ontario)Lake trout over 23"Don't eatPCBs
Brown trout and smaller lake troutEat up to one meal per monthPCBs
Chenango River [34]Walleye over 22"Eat up to one meal per monthMercury
Irondequoit Bay [9] (Monroe)CarpDon't eatPCBs, Mirex
Keuka Lake [11] (Yates & Steuben)Lake trout over 25"Eat up to one meal per monthDDT
Koppers Pond [12] (Chemung)CarpEat up to one meal per monthPCBs
Lake Ontario [8]
- Whole lake
Harvest/possession of Lake Ontario American eel is prohibited per NYS DEC Regulations.
Channel catfish, carp, lake trout over 25" and brown trout over 20"Don't eatPCBs, Mirex, Dioxin
Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, white sucker, smaller lake trout, smaller brown trout and coho salmon over 25"Eat up to one meal per monthPCBs, Mirex, Dioxin
- West of Point BreezeWhite perchDon't eatPCBs, Mirex, Dioxin
- East of Point BreezeWhite perchEat up to one meal per monthPCBs, Mirex, Dioxin
Onondaga Lake [14] (Onondaga)Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass over 15" and walleyeDon't eatMercury, PCBs
Carp, channel catfish and white perchDon't eatPCBs, Mercury, Dioxin
All fish not listedEat up to one meal per monthMercury, PCBs
Brown bullhead and pumpkinseedEat up to four meals per monthMercury, PCBs
Rushford Lake [7] (Allegany)WalleyeEat up to one meal per monthMercury
Seneca River [15]
- Downstream of Lock 24 at Baldwinsville
See Onondaga Lake
Skaneateles Creek [13]
- From dam at Skaneateles to Seneca River (Onondaga)
Brown trout over 10"Eat up to one meal per monthPCBs
Susquehanna River [35]Walleye over 22"Eat up to one meal per monthMercury
All waters not listed above in the Finger Lakes Region: All ages men, women and childrenAll fish speciesEat up to four meals per month

Note: The specific advisories for the waters listed above also apply to tributaries and connected waters if there are no barriers to stop the fish from crossing, such as dams or falls.

Here is an easy, nutritious fish recipe that kids like too!

Creamy Dijon Fish Fillets
1 lb. firm, skinless, boneless, fish fillets (such as trout, salmon, perch, etc)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (low fat)
2 T. Dijon-style mustard
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper to taste

Preheat broiler with oven rack in proper position. Rinse the fillets, pat dry and place on a broiler pan (you may want to lightly grease the pan with some oil to prevent sticking). In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, cheese and pepper. Spread this mixture evenly over the fish fillets. Broil the fillets for 4-7 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the fish, or just until the fish flakes with a fork. Do not overcook or the fish will be dry. Serves 3-4.

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